Roots keen to get going again
WRITTEN BY COLIN HEAD
MONDAY, 02 MAY 2022 08:00
With the SCEFL Premier Division season now over, Holmesdale FC completed their first season back at this level, following promotion, with a very creditable twelfth place finish as well as having good runs in the FA Vase & League Cup. KSN caught up with First Team Manager Lee Roots to get his thoughts on the 2021/22 campaign for the club based in Bromley Common……
Thank you for agreeing to do this, it’s much appreciated.
Holmesdale’s first season back at SCEFL Premier Division seems to have gone really well, how happy are you from a manager’s point of view?
Thank you for your great coverage & support of the club this season Colin. Yes I am very happy with the results we have produced this season, of course it is only human nature that I would have liked for us to finish a few places higher in the league, which I feel we would have deserved but the leagues don’t lie at this stage, & overall I am very pleased for us all. Targets set have been achieved – we have secured the clubs league status, picked up some truly fantastic results & have well & truly now ingrained ourselves, the club, my players & staff into the step 5 level divisions.
For me seeing the players being able to deliver & then set all new club records along the way made me very proud & has made it an extremely successful season for us.
The club set a number of records this season; highest finish, points tally, goals scored and fewest conceded. That must be really pleasing for all involved, but also raises the bar for next season?
Yes, I think your completely correct colin, the bar has been set & it’s now been raised by the players. We now have a great foundation base to continue to build up on next year from the season that has just gone. This season has seen us set all brand-new records for the club in regard to…
Clubs highest ever league finish,
Clubs highest ever points return,
Most ever SCEFL Premier Division wins,
Least amount of SCEFL Premier Division losses ever
Fewest ever league goals conceded in SCEFL Premier Division.
We finished the season with
3rd best away defence (only Sheppey & Chatham higher) 20 goals in 19 games
And we finished with 6th best defence in the league.
These records wouldn’t have been achieved without the hard work from all of my staff & players; from my development squad staff members & players all the way to my first team players & staff. My full credit goes to all of these players & my staff members for working so hard in achieving these records. We now plan to go & set all brand new records next season!!
I was lucky enough to get to quite a few home games this season at Oakley Road and also the away game at Glebe, I have been really impressed with the style of football your team plays. Obviously, results are the main thing, but is the brand of football Dale plays important to you too?
Thank you so much for your very kind words colin regarding our model of play & playing identity. To answer your question yes, it is extremely important & it is very much a crucial part of the game for me personally, that the brand of football we play is very prominent in our own & club’s identity. Myself & my staff work extremely hard in a lot of fine details to promote this brand of play, working for us to be as attractive & eye catching as possible which like you say, I think has certainly been noticed this season by our peers within the division. The brand we play is of course my take on the game & how I like my teams to set up in our approach, & we have a strong model of play ingrained which allows the players to manage situations, find solutions & combat different approaches. Of course, like you say the biggest challenge we would always face with this approach is marrying this method of play to coincide with making sure I as manager am able to deliver & then to keep consistently delivering the correct results for the team, squad & the club.
The club itself has a really special feel to it, a lot of Bromley fans are now coming along to games and enjoying the whole experience of real non-league football, but with Bromley & Cray Wanderers also both playing in BR2, only a mile or so away at Hayes Lane, it must be tough to attract more supporters when they are playing at home on the same day as Holmesdale?
Thank you for your kind comments & I fully agree that the club has a very truly special feel to it, & there certainly is a great buzz that flows throughout the club & ground on matchdays. I am very grateful to all the brilliant fans we have that follow the club so well, & also to the great Bromley & Cray fans that have really got behind the lads & the club this season, Thank you! I think yes having both of those clubs being a stone throw away from our home ground is difficult for us, regarding attracting high & consistent crowds each week, but we have seen these numbers grow slowly week on week. I feel myself that our USP as a club is the fact, we are still very much growing up the lower non-leagues & levels, and maybe watching Holmesdale offers a slightly more non-league feel to it, compared to the Conference standard of football at Bromley or Ryman league football at Cray Wanderers.
What all 3 club offers to & within our local communities though, is a fantastic & wide diverse variety of different non-league levels & divisions of football for people to go to watch within the Bromley area every single week, which can only be a good thing for our community.
With SCEFL Premier Division status achieved this season, what are the goals you will be setting for the 2022/23 campaign?
Very quickly now the attention has already turned towards next season & making sure we set new targets & goals to work towards & achieve. I think with Chatham & Sheppey now leaving the division, the make up & total outlook of the league will now change quite dramatically. Pre-season always throws up the old cliché where every team now feels they can reset & go challenge in the league, but truth of the matter is that those predictions can never be found out until month 2 of the season, where you can see if you’ve started in the correct manor or not. As a club & myself, I am extremely ambitious in my career, & we set a very tough but realistic target for our first season back at Step 5, & importantly the seasons goals just gone were all based around what position we could try to get ourselves in come the end of the season, just as we are now so we can really go & attack the new season. New direction behind the scenes at the club will now allow us to operate in a manor where we will now look to go & challenge in all competitions next season. Big targets will be set.
With the in mind, does recruitment for next season’s squad start now or are you able to get a couple of weeks of before it all starts again?
The recruitment period of work started for me a few weeks ago, and of course this is where a lot of your initial work as a manager starts when shaping the planned squad for the new season ahead. Player recruitment wise I have some fantastic players targets on our list, which some players I have already had some excellent & forward leading chats with already. We will be giving some opportunities to my development squad players as we continue to build internally as a club, which will see us add a new academy into the club’s infrastructure, to continue to build & develop our own players ourselves internally for the club’s sustained & future success. These details will be announced over the next upcoming months.
What is also crucial for me to focus on alongside good player recruitment, is obtaining the correct staff members regarding staff recruitment.
I am absolutely delighted to announce our brand-new First team staff member who has now joined the club as Assistant manager. This new staff member joins us boasting great experience & the new staff member will be announced on our social media pages on Back Holiday Monday. I am extremely excited for this new staff addition, which will now see us take the club up to brand new levels.
Our new staff member will work alongside current first team staff members Adam Porter & John Coleman. John now moves up from his role from Head Coach to Assistant Manager also alongside our new staff member.
We have a new Physio & Football Analyst also joining the first team staff, with details of each member to be announced at a later date on our social media pages.
The work behind the scenes has well & truly started towards next season.
I genuinely cannot wait to get going again!
Enjoy your summer and see you next season.